Vancouver Canucks defenceman Luc Bourdon was killed in a motorcycle accident in northern New Brunswick on Thursday. He was 21.
Bourdon, a promising young defenceman who played his junior hockey with the Moncton Wildcats, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Val d'Or Foreurs of the QMJHL, split his first pro season in 2007-08 between Vancouver and the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose.
He scored two goals and was a plus-7 in 27 games with the Canucks last season.
"Luc was a winner, he was a competitor," said Kent Hughes, his agent. "There was no quit in him. He persevered through a lot. He was a great guy and a great teammate."
Hughes added that he never knew about his client's new hobby. "I had no idea," he explained to CKNW in Vancouver. "Another client of ours, Kris Letang, said Luc let him know he was riding his dad's motorcycle with some friends a week or two ago. I have since been told - though I don't know - that he actually bought a motorcycle two days ago."
The Shippagan, New Brunswick native was drafted 10th overall by the Canucks in 2005 and was among the last pre-season cuts at training camp just a few months later.
He was an integral part of Brent Sutter's gold medal-winning squad in the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championship, posting six points in six games and earning a spot on the tournament all-star team. His dream season continued when the Eagles dealt him to Moncton and he helped lead Ted Nolan's Wildcats to the 2006 Memorial Cup.
Bourdon signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Canucks that spring and played a nine-game stint with the team to start the following season. He was then returned to the QMJHL and helped lead Canada win its third straight gold medal at the world juniors.
"We are deeply saddened by today's news and on behalf of the entire Vancouver Canucks organization, I would like to extend my sincere sympathies to Luc's family," said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis in a statement.
"Luc was an extremely talented player with a bright future. He brought great passion to the game and was a valued team member on and off the ice. He will be greatly missed."
Craig Heisinger, Vice-President & General Manager of the Manitoba Moose, added his voice to those expressing sympathy.
"Luc was a truly passionate person who was also hard-working, and caring of his teammates."
"He was a very talented player who made a great impact on the organization in a short period of time. It is a big loss for the Manitoba Moose family."